The majestic egalitarianism of the law, which forbids the rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
Anatole France, Le Lys Rouge, 1894
Written by Declan Donnellan
Performed in English
The true story of Ireland’s only hangwoman. How she murdered her son. How she escaped the gallows and how she ended her days as Queen of the long drop in Roscommon Gaol.
Set in the West of Ireland around the time of the French Revolution, this visceral tale is beaten out in words, music and dance.
Written by Declan Donnellan, with music by Paddy Cunneen. Produced by Cheek by Jowl. The first performance of Lady Betty was at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on 18th September 1989.
“A dark dance of survival presented with refined wit and audacity”The Observer
|Tim McMullan||John / Oliver / Captain Mills|
|Gerard O’Hare||Father Malloy / Michael Flynn|
|Catherine White||Night / Bridie O’Byrne|
|Lawrence Evans||Silence / George / Reverend Blakeney|
|Phil McKee||Cold / Liamog Hanrahan|
|Roy McBride||O’Leary / Liam Hanrahan|
|Charlotte Medcalf||Mrs Mills / Peggy Hanrahan|
|Patrick Toomey||Dunno / Christie O’Flaherty|
|Date (first performance)||Location||No. of performances|
|28 November 1989||London, Almeida Theatre, UK||27|
|6 November 1989||Chichester, Festival Theatre, UK||6|
|30 October 1989||Basildon, Towngate Theatre, UK||6|
|24 October 1989||Scunthorpe, Civic Theatre, UK||5|
|16 October 1989||Winchester, Theatre Royal, UK||7|
|9 October 1989||Taunton, Brewhouse Theatre, UK||7|
|3 October 1989||Bracknell, Wilde Theatre, UK||5|
|25 September 1989||Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK||7|
|18 September 1989||Bury St Edmunds, Theatre Royal, UK||6|
“A drama which will haunt the memory of those who see it for a long time to come…Donnellan’s play and his own atmospheric staging, has the haunting power of a myth.”Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
“Narrative links are condensed in song and terse dialogue, so that concentration is fierce of the crucial flash points in the story…Of the highest class.”Michael Coveney, The Financial Times
“A dark dance of survival presented with the refined wit and audacity of the company’s style.”Michael Ratcliffe, The Observer
“Declan Donnellan’s first play is a wild, poetic piece of Irish drama as earthy as the peat bog, as sharp as the smell of smouldering sod and as vigorous as a fiercely danced jig… challenging and exhilarating, this is powerful stuff.”Time Out
“A wild, poetic piece of Irish drama as earthy as the peat bog, as sharp as the smell of smouldering sod and as vigorous as a fiercely danced jig… challenging and exhilarating, this is powerful stuff”Time Out